Thursday, January 27, 2011

Power-Up Crepes

I was thrilled to wake up to 14 inches of freshly fallen powder this morning. Every road was closed, so what better way to celebrate this lazy, snowed in morning then to whip up  delicious, healthy crepes for a day of cross country skiing.

The actual crepe recipe is from the cookbook, Vegan Brunch by vegan guru Isa Chandra Moskowitz. For the filling I used Greek yogurt, sliced bananas and a berry sauce, but honestly, the possibilities are endless. These would be great with a peanut butter and jelly filling, or for dessert, whipped cream and chocolate. 

Power-Up Crepes
1 cup soymilk
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix for about 30 seconds. The batter will be watery and thin. Chill in the refridgerator for an hour. Preheat a crepe pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly spray with oil. 

Pour a spoonful of batter into the hot pan, take off the heat and swirl to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until the batter has dried, around 30 seconds. With a thin spatula, peel the crepe off the pan, (this should be relatively easy), and flip it over. Cook for another 30 seconds. Slide onto plate. Fill with whatever you desire. 

Berry Sauce
1/2 package of frozen berries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon arrowroot 

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and stir. Heat to medium. When the berries have broken down for the most part, and the mixture is thick, (around 10 minutes), let cool off the heat. Serve at room temperature. 

And for your personal snow-day inspiration, a photograph of the winter wonderland. This ain't Aspen folks, its Connecticut. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Navigating the Gas Station Landscape

It is well known that American gas stations are bounties of the most despicable, offensive junk foods on the continent. Where else can you find pork rinds, highly processed packaged cotton candy and Doritos 1st Degree Burn Blazin' Jalapeno Chips all in one place?

To the cross-country traveler, gas stations can either be a bane or a blessing. Snacking is an inevitable part of driving and road trippers can fall in the junk food trap, (and emerge at their destination bloated and significantly more cushy), or struggle to find healthier options. But despite the fa├žade that gas stations only stock the most disgusting of snacks, looking closely reveals gut-reducing items for the road.

Pretzels are vital in the snacking world because they have zero fat. Their salty coating is satiating to any driver and they deliver an optimal crunch. Try Snyders Thin Pretzels rather than the Nugget size so you can feel fancy and delicate.  

Gas stations will try to tempt you into a deal with their 40 oz soda cups for 60 cents. But don’t be swayed. Stay away from the sodas to steer clear of bloating into next year and to avoid severely impeding your drive by numerous bathroom trips. Opt instead for a Naked Juice. The Superfood flavor is packed with antioxidants, fruit juice and algae that restores both your body and your sanity. Can it prevent cabin fever? Perhaps. But it also just tastes delicious.

Amazingly, some gas stations have allowed several health-minded food companies to enter their sacred cathedral of salt, fat and sugar. Cliff Bars can be found nestled between the Hershey bars and Amy’s Burritos could be lurking in the fridge. One great snack product that is found near the pork rinds is Rocky Mountain Popcorn. Made in Colorado, the popcorn comes in a variety of flavors and has limited amounts of unpronounceable ingredients. Cheddar flavor tricks snackers into thinking they are being naughty. What is more, popcorn is the perfect size to throw a handful into hungry mouths.

And lastly, any substantial gas station will have a small basket of bananas and apples. Usually found near the register, the basic fruit is a no-frills way to fill the void of fresh, unadulterated sustenance. A welcome diversion from packaged foods…unless you count the banana skin as a package of course.